Concealed Gun Legislation Filed for Missouri Teachers

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COLUMBIA - Some Missouri lawmakers have propsed a bill that would allow teachers and administrators to carry guns in schools.  This comes after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting that left 20 students and six teachers dead.

More than two dozen Missouri lawmakers have already backed legislation that would allow teachers and administrators with concealed gun permits to carry weapons in schools. Representative Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, pre-filed the bill Tuesday with his co-sponsors including House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka, and Majority Leader John Diehl, of Town and Country.

The law in Missouri currently forbids concealed guns at schools unless the school board or a school official approves it.  The proposed legislation upholds this law, but would not require teachers or administrators to get permission as long as they have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Columbia School Board member James Whitt believes that this new legislation is a terrible idea.  One reason is the school district already has four school resource officers. "The SROs are police officers and they are trained to use firearms.  They know how to handle these types of situations.  Our educators are there to educate our children and our job is to make sure our educators have proper protection," Whitt said.

The district also has security officers. "They are not armed, but they work very closely with the Columbia Police Department, fire department, and other local law enforcment to help secure our schools," said Whitt.

Supporters of the bill argue that people might think before attacking schools if they knew teachers or administrators could potentially be carrying a gun.